UK & World News

  • 22 May 2014, 17:17

Kidnap Victim 'So Happy' To Be With Family

A woman kidnapped in California at age 15 and held for a decade has said she feels "so happy" to be with her family again.

"All the time I cry for my mum and my sisters," said the woman, who has not been identified and is originally from Mexico.

"I'm so happy and God-blessed to be with my family," she told KABC TV.

The victim, now 25, has told police that she was kidnapped in 2004 by Isidro Garcia, who was her mother's boyfriend. 

Garcia, 41, has been charged with five felony counts, including rape and kidnapping to commit a sexual offence, prosecutors in Orange County said.

The prosecutor's office said in a statement: "Between August 2004 and April 2014, Garcia is accused of controlling Jane Doe by telling her that her family did not want her and was not looking for her.

"He is accused of threatening the victim that if she called the police to report him, she would get in trouble for using a false identity."

Investigators say Garcia moved home several times to avoid detection, gave the girl multiple fake identities and obtained night-shift cleaning jobs for himself and the victim so he could keep watch over her.

The victim was subjected to "sustained physical and mental abuse", police said.

She is believed to have been sexually abused and bore a child to her captor in 2012, five years after she was forced to marry him.

"I was 15, I can do nothing, I just did what he wants," she said.

At the time of her abduction, the victim had entered the US from Mexico a few months earlier and spoke no English, police said.

"I don't have a life these 10 years. I don't have a life," she said.

The woman was initially locked up in a garage. Then she eventually began to lead what appeared from the outside to be a normal life.

Neighbours described the two as a normal couple who went to church, hosted parties for their friends and appeared to love their child. One said the man treated her "like a queen".

But the woman said: "All my neighbours and other people think he was the best man because he worked hard."

After years of physical and emotional abuse, the victim approached police after finding her sister on Facebook, say investigators.

She initially reported a case of domestic violence, but then the full story started to emerge.